Tom Maschler’s book is a festschrift of which, unusually, the subject and the author are the same. His life, fame, achievements, authors, friendships, enemies and admirers, his crises and moodswings are already known to booktrade elders, who hardly need read his embellishments, though they provide evidence of the rise of the in-house literary editor from glorified reader to celebrity publisher.
Prickly and pushy, Tom Maschler was also intelligent and resourceful. Born in Berlin, of German Jewish parents, he shone at school but then sensibly declined a place at Oxford. Instead he shovelled muck in Israeli kibbutzim and joined the RAF, where he feigned madness in reaction to being shouted at,